In Melbourne, ANZ opened a branch on the corner of Collins and Swanston Street to support visitors to the Games in the nearby Olympic Park.
The special branch featured a travel and information bureau for visitors. Bank employees who had language skills were employed as interpreters for overseas visitors.
There was also an ANZ branch in the Olympic village in Heidelberg with interpreters and extended opening hours. In the days before ATMs, branches needed to be staffed over extended periods and were open from 8 am to 10 pm, seven days a week during the Games.
The efforts were part of a successful Olympics. Holding the events outside Europe and America for the first time gave the Olympics a truly global feel, emphasised by events being televised around the world.
This global nature of the Games was underlined by the closing ceremony in which athletes mingled together rather than walking behind the flag of their country – the brainchild of Melbourne man John Ian Wing – a tradition which remains to this day.
These collective efforts were a key part of the Melbourne Games earning the name of the ‘friendly games’, in many ways setting the standard for global Olympics to follow.